Video Interviewing – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Posted in - Interviewing on June 18th, 2013 0 Comments

There is a lot of buzz today about video interviewing. It is being promoted as a revolutionary improvement over the traditional phone or face-to-face interview. While there is merit in using video interviewing, it is not the ideal solution for all situations. There can be drawbacks and foolishness in using this technology as well. In this article, I will cover the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of video interviews.

The Good – Strengths of Video Interviewing

There are two types of video interviews: one is basically conducting a face to face interview using video software over the Internet, the other involves having candidates record and verbally answer written questions on video. The primary advantages of using this approach are time and cost savings. Rather than use a phone screen where you spend up to 30 minutes, the one way video interview allows recruiters to quickly switch from viewing a candidate that is wrong for the position to a videotape of another candidate. Many candidates can be reviewed in the same amount of time. Recruiters also like video screens over telephone screens since it allows them to see a candidate with their own eyes and pay attention to body language and non-verbals. When video interviews are used in lieu of face-to-face interviews, it saves travel related expenses of bringing candidates in for interviews.

It also provides convenience for candidates and managers. Candidates can take and record their interview at a time that is most convenient for them. For younger candidates, such as Millennials, there may actually be a preference for video interviews since video media is so familiar to them. It is convenient for hiring managers since they can review candidates at times that are most. It also could be argued that video interviews allow employers to represent their employment brand as being innovative.

The Bad – Drawbacks of Video Interviewing

The one way video interview has a number of drawbacks is it does not allow for follow-up questions. Additional probes are usually needed to obtain a complete behavioral response so the quality of interview data can suffer. Candidates also do not get an opportunity to ask questions so there is a lost opportunity to meet the information needs of candidates.

Perhaps most importantly, the one-way video encourages first impression errors since it is so easy to abandon an interview early on without a full consideration of all information that is available. Recruiters and hiring managers are likely to make quick abandonment decisions based on superfluous factors such as candidate appearance and verbal fluency.

The Ugly – Video Interviewing Without Alternatives

The video interview turns ugly when it is relied on as the sole method for all hiring situations. While it may serve as a viable alternative to telephone screens, face-to-face traditional interviews or two-way video interviews are preferred for selecting pivotal talent.

Employers need a complete solution for their interview needs. A complete solution would provide support for traditional behavioral interviews, provide video interview options, and also would provide on-line and facilitated interviewer training solutions.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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